The palaeoenvironment of East Kirkton, West Lothian, Scotland: stable isotope evidence from silicates and sulphides

McGill, R.A.R., Hall, A.J., Fallick, A.E. and Boyce, A.J. (1993) The palaeoenvironment of East Kirkton, West Lothian, Scotland: stable isotope evidence from silicates and sulphides. Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh: Earth Sciences, 84(3-4), pp. 223-237. (doi: 10.1017/S0263593300006040)

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Stable isotope data from the East Kirkton succession are used to elucidate the extent of hot-spring influence in the palaeoenvironment by constraining conditions of deposition of the silica and the formation of sulphides.

Petrographically silica occurs as chert laminae thought to be primary, and as patchy chert considered as replacive. No evidence for biogenic silica was observed. For 20 silica samples δ18O was measured for structural oxygen and δD for bound water. δ18O(SMOW) varied between +21 and +27‰ with no sample groupings related to petrography. The range in δD(SMOW) was from −50 to −90‰ with lower values characterising replacive or altered silica; water contents of both petrographic groups were similar. A plot of δ18O versus δD for the laminated primary silica defines a grouping about the line defined by Scottish agates (Fallick et al. 1985). This suggests for the unaltered silica a formation temperature of about 60°C and a fluid containing a strong component of meteoric water. The data imply a Lower Carboniferous meteoric water δ18O composition of −3‰ and δD of −15‰, consistent with the known palaeolatitude.

The only sulphide observed was pyrite; 34 samples were selected from a wide variety of lithological and textural occurrences. δ34S(CDT) ranges widely and continuously between +8 and −34‰ with no strong mode. The sulphur appears to be derived from several sources, and pyrite formation from a variety of conditions as indicated by such wide ranging data, but for the samples with the lowest δ34S the involvement of bacteria in sulphate reduction is inferred.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Boyce, Professor Adrian and Fallick, Professor Anthony
Authors: McGill, R.A.R., Hall, A.J., Fallick, A.E., and Boyce, A.J.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre
Journal Name:Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh: Earth Sciences
Publisher:The R S E Scotland Foundation
ISSN (Online):1755-6929

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